One-Day Legal Translation Training Conducted by HPI Komda Bali and IALF Bali


Many thanks to HPI Komda Bali in collaboration with IALF Bali for their efforts to conduct this one-day training in legal translation given by an impressive resourceful trainer, Evand Halim at IALF Bali, Saturday, November 23, 2013.

This training was successfully conducted and attended by 33 participants (HPI members and non-HPI members). The participants were enthusiastic about the training. Many of them asked questions about legal terminologies and their nearest equivalents. Evand Halim could easily and confidently answer their questions with satisfying explanations and examples. He mentioned that “there is no ultimate translation” and “a translator is not an expert who knows everything but one who knows where to go when in troubles.”

Evand mentioned that Someone does not have to be a lawyer to be a legal translator; one can read, research and exercise…” Knowing the characteristics of legal texts is necessary for legal translators as legal translation involves legal terminologies and linguistic peculiarities such as legal terms of art, foreign terminologies (e.g. force majeure, inter alia, mutatis mutandis), doublets (e.g. fit and proper test, terms and conditions, last will and testament), triplets (e.g. cancel, annul, and set aside) and archaic adverbials (e.g. hereinafter, hereby). He also mentioned that a good legal translation should be accurate, having semantic congruity and faithful to the source texts.


The participants working on a legal translation practice

The participants working on a legal translation practice  

“Three qualities of good translators are first, having extensive general knowledge and specialist knowledge, secondly, the brain to understand a complicated text quickly and the third one is a rhetorical skill to manipulate the language in order to produce a congruent translation.” – Halim.

To have general knowledge and specialist knowledge, one must continually exercise and research. Reading Indonesian civil codes (KUHPerd) and Penal Code (KUHP) and other helpful resources would certainly enrich the knowledge of legal translators. What about finding the equivalent of doublets and triplets? We can look up the thesaurus in the target language to see the synonyms of a certain word and to formulate the translation.

To end the one-day training, Evand shared some translation strategies/procedures to apply, along with adequate examples.

Overall, this training is very useful for the participants. Hopefully, HPI Komda Bali will conduct another workshop or training in the near future.

The training participants with Evand Halim (at the center, wearing a red tie)


“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.” Voltaire 

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” 


Contributor: Luh Windiari